Systems of the Stars is Laptop Mag’s new series that pries into the systems that superstars own, whether it’s a snazzy laptop, a funky drawing tablet, or a next-gen gaming console.
Travis Mills, a badass rockstar with pop-punk jams that’ll make you want to headbang ‘til your brains fall out, is a multifaceted creative who refuses to be stuffed into a box with a singular label. The striking tattoos, spiky, platinum-blonde hair and conspicuous nose ring may scream “Let’s rock and roll!”, but there are layers beneath Mills’ alluring external appearance — a softer, more relatable side — that may surprise you.
We got a glimpse of Mills' offstage persona thanks to his stellar hosting on MTV’s Ghosted with his partner-in-crime (and former “Bachelorette” star) Rachel Lindsay. We discovered that Mills has killer discernment and deductive reasoning skills — à la Sherlock Holmes — that helped distressed hopeless romantics demystify why former flings and exes disappeared into the abyss without explanation.
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But what really caught our eye (and compelled me to reach out to Mills for our monthly System of the Stars series) was his appearance on the revival of MTV’s Cribs. From the outside looking in, Mills is a carefree, wild-hearted musician who formed a band with Nick Gross called girlfriends (influenced by Blink 182, 5 Seconds of Summer and All Time Low).
But after getting a tour of Mills’ Los Angeles swanky home, I saw a down-to-earth 32-year-old who decorates his walls with The Simpsons artwork, has an overstuffed multivitamin cabinet, and coolest of all, he’s got a decked-out PC gaming room.
In the same way MTV Cribs peels back celebrities’ layers by snooping around their homes, we, at Laptop Mag, peer into stars’ lives by prying into their tech possessions. First, let’s start with that gaming room. As it turned out, it was a former music studio and Mills transformed it into a Twitch streaming center, if you will, and equipped it with a brand spankin’ new dual PC he built with his own sweat, blood and tears during the height of the pandemic.
“I watched hours and hours of YouTube videos. I re-did everything in my studio starting with my desk. I built an automated desk, which was hard to do, but so rewarding. I do want to shout out Logitech and my Astro Gaming family because without their help, I would never have the set up I have today,” Mills said.
The girlfriends rockstar built two PCs: one for gaming and another for streaming. As of this writing, Mills is on tour, which thwarts him from fully committing to Twitch stardom as HolyTravis, but he promises to dedicate more time to it once he returns. “I love the fact I can just go live and connect with friends and fans all over the world in the blink of an eye,” Mills said, shouting out Twitch streamer Sarah Dope as his inspiration.
Of course, we are Laptop Mag, so we couldn’t help but ask whether Mills gamed on a laptop as well. Mills said he had a gaming laptop in the recent past, but he didn’t use it to play his favorite titles. Instead, he used it for music production — some of the best gaming laptops can double as an audio-engineering center. “FL Studio on PC is the GOAT,” Mills said, referring to the digital audio workstation (DAW) software. However, once FL Studio crossed over to the macOS, he sold his PC and snagged a MacBook.
Speaking of GOAT, we always ask our stars which games they believe are deserving of such a prestigious title. Mills’ response? “I love all of the Call of Duty games,” he said. “I was a huge fan of Counter-Strike as a kid, and when I started playing COD, it was like Counter-Strike, but even better.” Mills also gave an honorable mention to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series.
Mills went down a nostalgic road and grew wistful over the games he used to play as a kid. “My earliest memory of gaming was playing Duck Hunt on either Nintendo or Super Nintendo. I loved having that little gun and actually pointing it at the TV and watching things go bang.” Mills said he was fortunate enough to have all the old-school consoles, including Game Boy, Sega Genesis and GameCube, but his personal favorite was N64.
I asked Mills about his stance on current-gen consoles and he told me that he’s pretty content with his PC. “I'm still rocking with my PS4 because once I built my gaming PC I haven't looked back,” he said. However, Mills has been eyeing the PS5. “I recently just got some SCUF gaming controllers that I feel like need to be put to use.”
A new gaming laptop may be on Mills’ radar, too. He told us that his dream rig is the $4,000 Razer Blade 17, which comes packed with a blazing eight-core, 11th Gen Intel i9-11900H CPU, a whopping 32GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 with 16GB of VRAM, a 1TB SSD and a 120Hz 4K display.
I'd say Mills has great taste! Plus, it would make an excellent companion for someone like Mills, a rockstar gamer who’s often on the road and can’t lug his newly built dual PC around.
Check out some of our past Systems of the Stars articles, including our hilarious piece with WWE Superstar Wrestler Johnny Gargano, PS5 Spider-Man Miles Morales composer John Paesano, Little Nightmares 2’s Per Bergman, Legendary God of War writer Marianne K, NBA Star Seth Curry, and more.
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Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!